Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Burma aid tents through at last


Cornwall-based disaster aid charity Shelterbox has just received the first pictures of its aid helping victims of the Burma cyclone.

Hundreds of tents have been erected as part of the international response to the 2 May cyclone which left more than 130,000 people dead or missing.

Shelterbox had struggled to get its tents into the country.

But about a month ago Burma's military rulers opened the Irrawaddy Delta to international aid workers.

Shelterbox aid worker Mark Pearson has just sent back pictures of the tents in use from Labutta in the Irrawaddy.

'Good position'

The charity's boxes include tents, tools, stoves, cooking pots and ground sheets.

Mr Pearson said: "I found Three Mile Camp which is home to 5,250 survivors of the cyclone.

"There are around 700 Shelterbox tents there all arranged perfectly there is camp security, hospital, clean water, food and schools all run by the government.

"The Shelterbox kit was in a good position above sea level and a cool breeze all day and most importantly shelter from the heavy monsoon downpours which happen most days and night."

He said that a member of aid group Medicins San Frontier had told him that there were also 300 Shelterbox tents on the Burma island of Heignyi.

Sally Grint, Shelterbox's fund-raising manager, said the pictures vindicated the charity's persistence in trying to get aid into Burma.

The charity is sending another 200 tents, 2,000 mosquito nets, 2,000 tool kits, 600 woodburning stoves, 600 cooking pots, 4000 ground sheets and educational equipment to Burma.

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